KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A new Safe Equipment Design Checklist designed to ensure that equipment used in meat and poultry plants is designed in compliance with key standards and minimizes hazards and injuries was unveiled March 10 by the American Meat Institute (AMI) at its Worker Safety, Human Resources and the Environment Conference taking place in Kansas City. The checklist was developed by a special subcommittee of AMI’s Worker Safety Committee and is the third of its kind released by AMI.

Both the Equipment Design Checklist and Facility Design Checklist have been used to ensure equipment and facilities factor food safety into their designs, AMI relays.

Developers of the checklist said using it will help ensure compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) rules and with relevant consensus standards such as those published by the National Fire Protection Association, American National Standards Institute, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and others.

Goals of the checklist are to foster design with a focus on preventing injuries and creating worker-friendly equipment. The 10 key principles of safe equipment design are covered: equipment guarding; design and engineering; energy control; ergonomics; training; ingress/egress; hazard communication; confined spaces and hazardous locations; fall protection; and process safety management.

“Our long-term goal is to eliminate hazards before they are created,” said Travis Ellis, AMI Worker Safety Committee chairman, and corporate director of environmental, health and safety at Land-O-Frost Inc. “This checklist is an important compilation of strategies from some of the best minds in worker safety and I am confident that they will be meaningful and applicable for meat and poultry companies.”

The document is intended to be a living document. “Ensuring workplace safety is a continual effort that requires continuous improvement,” Ellis said. “The release of this checklist is a start and we aim to improve it over time based upon new information and user feedback.”

The document was also reviewed by AMI’s Supplier Committee, which includes member companies that manufacture equipment. Committee members also provided feedback to the subcommittee following their review.

This document may be downloaded as an Excel file fromhttp://www.meatami.com/orhttp://www.workersafety.org/, which is AMI’s dedicated worker-safety website.